Foods and Brands Chelle recommends for clean, healthy eating

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Fitness and Weight Loss Food Plan for Success...

Easy Food Swaps & Tips!

For most of us, it takes many baby-steps to create a true lifestyle change. Part of mine, was food swaps. These baby steps weaned me off of products that I was using too much of, or simply shouldn't have been consuming at all. By swapping foods out, I was able to reduce my use (or eliminate it altogether).  Once I went into maintenance phase, I began adding some items back in. 

As with any food... read the label.  Watch out for sodium levels, as well as sugar, saturated fats, and additives.

Butter   =  I Can't Believe it's Not Butter Light or Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, or Sesame Oil  (A note about butter... I use zero to little butter, except for holiday baking, so  when I do, I use the real stuff (fresh) as opposed to the lab-produced butter substitutes. When you've cut this stuff out of your diet, it's ok to use the real items on the rare occasion. This goes for sugar, half & half and cream, too.  The real stuff is OK in small quantities.

Ground Beef  = The highest percentage of fat free is best, but it's a lot pricier than the fattier meat. Save the cash... get the 80%  beef, season & cook, drain, then rinse in hot water to remove the fat. Now return to the pan, add more seasoning and serve. I've never tried it with Turkey or ground chicken or pork, but it works like a charm with beef and bison.  Another trick I use to make the meat go further is to finely chop an 8 oz container of brown mushrooms for every pound of meat and add it to the meat as it cooks. I do this for spaghetti meat, burgers, pretty much anything I use ground meat for (except for chili).

Regular Milk  =  Fat Free Plus Milk (tastes just like regular milk!)

Lettuce  =   Iceberg lettuce has almost zero nutritional value and Romaine isn't far behind. Start adding some serious vitamins & minerals by mixing it up... do 1/2 lettuce, and 1/2 shredded cabbage or baby spinach or both! Currently I'm on a Dino Kale kick, so I use shredded cabbage & spinach for wraps, and Kale for my salads. Also, shredded raw Brussels Sprouts are very similar to cabbage... tasty!

Salad Dressing  =  oil & vinegar, spray dressings (watch labels for added crap), lemon juice (my own choice), flavored olive oils, mix 2 tbsp plain greek yogurt w/a few drops of sriracha (hot sauce).

Cheese  =  Trade any full fat cheese for a 2% variety. I use reduced-fat feta nearly every small amounts. Good cheeses have more flavor and allow you to use less, but still get the taste you want. Cheese is fine in moderation.

Sour Cream  =  Either lowfat cottage cheese or fat-free plain yogurt or greek yogurt or skyr (either one gives you an added boost of protein!), or Light Sour Cream (but watch the label for sugar & sodium)

Soda  =  Green Tea, Crystal Light sparingly, Pepsi One or Coke Zero if you just have to have one - (yes, I said ONE), fruit juice (watch carefully for % of juice... you want 100% juice, even if the sugar is higher... this is natural sugar that your body knows how to deal with, as opposed to the refined & processed stuff that it just stores and converts to fat because it doesn't know what else to do with it) and you can also cut your juice with water or sparkling water to reduce the sugar.  I mention Crystal Light, because it's an easy substitute for soda, and baby steps are fine. Dump soda, drink crystal light. Then slowly wean yourself off it altogether. Your clean lifestyle does NOT include crystal light or soda except as an occasional treat.

Sugar  =  Sucanat (Sugar Cane Natural), Honey, Maple Syrup (pure) or Agave Nectar. Dump the white refined stuff.  Also dump the sugar substitutes... they're NOT natural, they're created in a lab, and there's just too many questions about their toxicity. Use the real stuff (Sucanat) and use it sparingly. Alternatives to Sucanat: Turbinado, Demerara, Sugar in the Raw.

White Bread  =  Whole wheat bread (check the nutrition label, if the first ingredient listed isn't "whole wheat" then it's really not. Find one that is). 

Hamburger buns... at least switch to a whole wheat variety, but another option is to use large portabella mushroom caps. I love doing this, though I'm the only one in the family who does, lol.  I simply spray with olive oil, sprinkle with mrs. dash and grill the cap on my George Foreman grill, then top with my burger and veggies. The caps are super juicy, so I only use one (open face burger), but very flavorful.  Pop out the stem core, and using a spoon scrape out the black "gills". Rinse, drizzle, season, grill. Easy! Another option is to wrap your burger in green-leaf lettuce.

Chips / Crackers  =  Sliced raw turnips! Air popped popcorn; nut & rice crackers; seeds & nuts (we make a mix of walnut pieces, dried unsweetened apples and dark chocolate); raw veggies and tzaziki or salsa or fat-free or lowfat cream cheese; pita chips and roasted red pepper hummus... there's so many good snacking options! Dr. Kracker is another favorite. Also, Tostitos & Ruffles both have come out with clean versions of their chips!





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